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998 - Soon To Be The New National Suicide Hotline Number

Updated: Apr 19, 2021

Everyone knows what to do in an emergency - call 911, but have you heard of 988?

The National Suicide Hotline Designation Act of 2020 was passed into law to prevent suicides in the United States (the alarming average number of suicides per day in 2019 was 129).

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides suicidal crisis or emotional distress support 24/7. The current 10-digit National Suicide Hotline will be replaced with the easy 3-digit 988 Hotline by July 2022.

Currently, an adolescent or teen experiencing suicidal thoughts, if they can’t reach their mental health professional, or don’t have a mental health professional, may not know the Hotline number. If they call 911, law enforcement will be dispatched and possibly remove the adolescent or teen to the hospital. Law enforcement are not expertly trained in mental health and suicide prevention. Often, someone who is calling the Suicide Hotline just needs someone to talk to.

The idea of law enforcement making a physical appearance may be a deterrent for certain populations, such as racial, socio-economical, or LGBTQ. Transgender adolescents are 5 times more likely to attempt suicide than cisgender adolescents. There have been links to show that individuals with Epilepsy have a 3.5-5% higher rate of suicide than the general population. Individuals who suffer from depression and mental health comorbidities have a higher rate of suicide.

If your child suffers from a mental health disorder and you feel that the mental health disorder is interfering with your child’s ability to access the general school curriculum, please feel free to contact me to discuss your options. He/she/they may be entitled to accommodations through a 504 Plan or accommodations and related services through an IEP.


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